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Serious Sam: The First Encounter

From PCGamingWiki, the wiki about fixing PC games

This page is for the original game. For the updated HD version, see Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter. For the version included in Serious Sam Classics: Revolution, see Serious Sam Classics: Revolution.

Serious Sam: The First Encounter
Serious Sam: The First Encounter cover
North America Gathering of Developers
Europe Take-Two Interactive
Russia, CIS 1C Company
Devolver Digital
Serious Engine 1
Release dates
Windows March 23, 2001
Metacritic 87
Monetization One-time game purchase
Modes Singleplayer, Multiplayer
Pacing Real-time
Perspectives First-person, Third-person
Controls Direct control
Genres Action, FPS, Shooter, TPS
Art styles Realistic
Themes Egypt, Sci-fi
Series Serious Sam
Serious Sam: The First Encounter on HowLongToBeat
Serious Sam: The First Encounter on IGDB
Serious Sam: The First Encounter guide on StrategyWiki
Serious Sam: The First Encounter on MobyGames
Serious Sam: The First Encounter on Wikipedia
Serious Sam: The First Encounter 2001
Serious Sam: The Second Encounter 2002
Serious Sam 2 2005
Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter 2009
Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter 2010
Serious Sam Double D 2011
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter 2011
Serious Sam 3: BFE 2011
Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter 2012
Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! 2012
Serious Sam VR (series)
Serious Sam Fusion 2017 EA
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour 2017
Serious Sam Classics: Revolution 2019
Serious Sam 4 2020
Serious Sam: Siberian Mayhem 2022
Serious Sam: Tormental 2022


GameSpy online services have been shut down (see Network for solutions).

Serious Sam: The First Encounter is a singleplayer and multiplayer first-person and third-person action, FPS, shooter and TPS game in the Serious Sam series.

General information

Official game series site
Seriously! Forums Community Discussions for game series Support Page
Steam Community Discussions


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
US: Basic disc check.
EU: CopyLok DRM. Removed in 1.04 patch leaving only basic disc check.
Includes soundtrack.
DRM-free after installation through Steam client (notes may include more details)
Renamed to Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter.

Essential improvements

Serious Sam XPLUS is a mod that enhances the textures, using the HD version textures.
Updates for non-Steam versions of the game can be downloaded from Serious Zone. (The link is dead, however the Steamify update for non-Steam versions can also be downloaded from Mod DB).
The game seems to choose the lowest screen refresh rate available to the monitor. In order to change the screen refresh rate, press ~ (or the key above Tab) to open the console, enter the line: gap_iRefreshRate=60 (or whatever refresh rate desired) then restart the game.
If the game doesn't recognize the graphics card, try changing Direct3D mode to OpenGL, and vice versa. If that doesn't work, let the game run on windowed mode by pressing Alt+ Enter and try again.

Source ports

Serious Engine: Ray Traced

Real-time path tracing support for Serious Engine 1.10.

Serious Sam Classic: Vulkan

Vulkan Serious Engine port based on open source version.

Game data

In-game player settings.
In-game player settings.

Configuration file(s) location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\Scripts\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/41050/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game data location

System Location
Windows <path-to-game>\SaveGame\[Note 1]
Steam Play (Linux) <SteamLibrary-folder>/steamapps/compatdata/41050/pfx/[Note 2]

Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
GOG Galaxy
Steam Cloud


In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.
In-game general rendering settings.
In-game general rendering settings.

Graphics feature State WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
See Widescreen resolution.
4K Ultra HD
See Widescreen resolution.
Field of view (FOV)
Default is 90° horizontal. See Field of view (FOV).
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
None, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128.
Anti-aliasing (AA)
See the glossary page for potential workarounds.
High-fidelity upscaling
FSR 1.0, DLSS 2.3
See Serious Engine: Ray Traced.
Vertical sync (Vsync)
Labeled as Wait vertical retrace.
This in-game setting tends to reset itself to Custom. To correctly enable vsync, open PersistentSymbols.ini and change the line gap_iSwapInterval=(INDEX)0; to gap_iSwapInterval=(INDEX)1;.
60 FPS and 120+ FPS
Frame counter can be enabled by using /hud_iStats=1 in the in-game console (~).
High dynamic range display (HDR)
See the glossary page for potential alternatives.
Ray tracing (RT)
See Serious Engine: Ray Traced.

Widescreen resolution

Steam version supports 16:9 and 16:10 resolutions from the in-game video options. Non-standard resolutions still need to be edited manually and can't be selected in-game, but FOV does not need to be adjusted for Hor+ ultrawide gameplay. Download the Steam executable here and replace the original executable located in <path-to-game>/Bin/ instead of the method below to get access to widescreen resolutions in-game. Alternatively, download Steamify, extract the archive and copy SeriousSam.exe from the Bin directory and overwrite the executable in <path-to-game>/Bin/.
This is what happens if the "wide screen" option in-game isn't disabled when setting a custom resolution.
This is what happens if the "wide screen" option in-game isn't disabled when setting a custom resolution.
Modify PersistentSymbols.ini[1][2]
  1. Launch the game at least once.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Scripts\PersistentSymbols.ini.
  3. Locate lines:
persistent extern INDEX sam_iScreenSizeI=(INDEX)XXX;
persistent extern INDEX sam_iScreenSizeJ=(INDEX)YYY;
  1. Change XXX and YYY to desired resolution.
  2. Save the changes and launch the game.


Do not enable Wide screen option from rendering menu.
For perfect Hor+ behavior, set field of view according to the given aspect ratio or resolution:
  • 16:9 - 106.26
  • 16:10 - 100.39
  • 2560x1080 - 121.28
  • 1366x768 - 106.29
  • 1360x768 - 106.04

Field of view (FOV)

Steam version has fixed widescreen FOV (and weapon FOV).
This does not affect the weapon FOV.
Press ~ to open the in-game console and use the /plr_fFOV=XX command where XX is the desired horizontal FOV[3]
Modify PersistentSymbols.ini[1]
  1. Launch the game at least once.
  2. Open <path-to-game>\Scripts\PersistentSymbols.ini.
  3. Locate the persistent extern user FLOAT plr_fFOV=(FLOAT)XX; line.
  4. Change XX to the desired horizontal FOV.
  5. Save the changes and launch the game.


In-game general control settings.
In-game general control settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game axis settings.
In-game axis settings.

Keyboard and mouse State Notes
Mouse acceleration
For correct mouse input, turn Sharp Turning ON, smoothing OFF, "mouse acceleration" ON (this is not variable acceleration as in other games).
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Controller types
XInput-compatible controllers
PlayStation controllers
Generic/other controllers
Button prompts
Additional information
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback
Only for iFeel.
Digital movement supported
Simultaneous controller+KB/M


In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.

Audio feature State Notes
Separate volume controls
Surround sound
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
EAX 2.0 reverb; no DirectSound3D support.
Royalty free audio


Language UI Audio Sub Notes
Retail release, download.
Fan translation - #1
Retail release, download.
Retail release, download.
Retail release, download.
Brazilian Portuguese
Fan translation; download.
Retail release, download.
A patch that adds the Spanish language can be found here.


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
Local play
4 Co-op, Versus
LAN play
16 Co-op, Versus
Co-op supports 4 players.
Online play
16 Co-op, Versus
Co-op supports 4 players. To play online with non-Steam versions apply the Master Server Patch.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP 25600 - 25603
UDP 25600 - 25603
Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) support status is unknown.

VR support

3D modes State Notes
Native 3D
User created game profile, see vorpx forum profile introduction.

Issues fixed

Text scaling

Use dgVoodoo 2 and force borderless

Other information


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 8 Added with patch 1.05 (December 4, 2001)
OpenGL 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4
Vulkan 1.2, 1.3 Requires Serious Sam Classic: Vulkan source port.
Executable 32-bit 64-bitARM Notes
64-bit support requires Serious Sam Classic: Vulkan source port.[6]
macOS (OS X)
Serious Engine: Ray Traced mod uses Vulkan 1.2; requires VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline extension.


Middleware Notes
Audio DirectSound
Multiplayer GameSpy

Console commands

List of useful console commands

System requirements

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 95 OSR2
Processor (CPU) Intel Pentium II 300 MHz
AMD K6-3 400 MHz
System memory (RAM) 64 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 150 MB
Video card (GPU) 16 MB of VRAM
DirectX 8 compatible
Sound (audio device)


  1. 1.0 1.1 When running this game without elevated privileges (Run as administrator option), write operations against a location below %PROGRAMFILES%, %PROGRAMDATA%, or %WINDIR% might be redirected to %LOCALAPPDATA%\VirtualStore on Windows Vista and later (more details).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Notes regarding Steam Play (Linux) data:


  1. 1.0 1.1 Verified by User:LDK on 2012-10-24
  2. Verified by User:Orzelek303 on 2018-03-26
  3. 42 AmsterDam Serious Sam Multiserver - Game cheating or cheating the game - last accessed on May 2023
  4. The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Forums - last accessed on May 2023
  5. Serious Sam in Stereoscopic (Red/Cyan) 3D! - last accessed on 2021-07-30
  6. 6.0 6.1 Serious Sam Classic: Vulkan Releases - last accessed on 5 June 2023
  7. Serious Sam macOS Builds - last accessed on 4 December 2022